When you say scam, it immediately flags money-taking activities, especially in the Philippines and one of the most victimized institutions of said word is insurance. Because of the stigma of insurance scams in the Philippines, some people are reluctant to avail of insurances albeit they be legitimate and the same stigma goes for medical benefits and financial investing. The three of these are actually the least of your worries when it comes to scams. What you should be looking for though are things like:
The nature of the business itself is prone to abuse of anonymity. The most basic of these scams are those who ask for your credit card information or access to your personal emails and such. These are easy to spot as some of them are either pop-ups or poorly constructed unprofessional looking pages—think about all the times that an add or a pop-up flashes in front of you telling you that you won something.
Other scams may happen when you are dating someone on the internet. Most prone to these are people who appear far from their online-other. Some will use the internet based relationship to ask for care and intimacy through asking for money or financial support but always find a reason to not meet up.
Then there are those who scam through either selling of buying. Sell scammers look almost harmless: they sell items online (OLX, AyosDito, Ebay) for second hand prices, you pay for them, the item gets shipped to you, then, voila! It isn’t what was on the internet. Buy scammers will pretend to buy your stuff online and not pay for them. To ensure that proper payments are made in favor of both buyer and seller, do half deposits to bank account or Western Union instead of through GCash. Better yet, meet up somewhere for the transaction, preferably at a mall where a lot of people (witnesses) can see you two.
These are really, really easy to spot but some people still fall victim to them. One modus of cellphone scammers is to pretend to text as a Filipino OFW who wants to send money or a relative who is in trouble. They converse a little bit and then ask that you send them money either so that they can go back home, for legal transaction purposes, or to get them off the hook.
Others will make calls. This callers target house keep most of the time, claiming to be a friend of their master of the home or the master of the home themselves in need of help because they got into an accident. They ask the house help to bring the money hidden somewhere in the house to a certain location so that it can be used to pay for hospitalization.
This scam seems to be the one that rakes in the biggest bucks. It could come in many form across any type of institutions but this scam’s definitive characteristic is that, at some given moment, a certain “fee” will be asked from the applicant for whatever intent and purpose it may serve.
There was this one syndicated group in Malolos, Bulacan where they even had an office. They fronted that they did office and secretarial works, mostly paper work, and that should an applicant pass the initial screening, she would surely land a secretarial job in a Manila-based company. They don’t actually fail applicant although, for those who passed, a fee of 300php will be required for the processing of papers. Yes, individually, 300php might not be big but if they’re receiving some 100 applicants per day, that 300 grand a day that goes to thieving hands!
Others will promise showbiz stardom. They will claim to be a talent scout of a popular station’s (ABS-CBN, GMA) and say that the person has what it takes to become an actor or actress. Others go and talk to parents saying that their kid can be part of a show and a commercial. Then, they will show papers and fine print saying that fees have to be paid for workshops and such.
The majority of people who get employ-scammed big time are those who aspire to work abroad. Same thing; scammers pretend to be connected to foreign companies, talk you through the job, then ask a certain amount for clearance and what have you. If you are aspiring to work abroad, make sure that, during application, check with DTI if the company that will send you off abroad is registered and legitimate.